Monday, April 17, 2023 - 8:30am to Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - 5:00pm

Registration closes March 22.

Grief, loss, trauma and various stressors impact those who migrate as they leave home, risk danger on the journey to a safer place, and resettle and integrate into a new community.

The Addressing the Impact and Trauma of Migration (AITM) Seminar seeks to promote wellbeing by increasing awareness, addressing wounds, reducing harms and fostering healthy community integration.

The seminar is open to those who have experienced migration directly and those who are accompanying and providing services to those who have migrated.

It is appropriate for service providers such as educators, health care workers, lawyers, law enforcement, staff or volunteers in shelters, resettlement agencies and legal service organizations.

Churches, faith-based groups and individuals or communities who provide an ongoing listening ear, sponsorship and support to those who have experienced migration will find this seminar meaningful.


Training location and COVID precautions
This training will be conducted in person at the MCC Welcoming Place in Akron, PA. Participants are encouraged to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Please review the Welcoming Place COVID Recommendations and Guidelines for more information.

Registration fee**
**Scholarships are available to those who are in need. Request a scholarship

Lodging option
Lodging is available at The Welcoming Place, a conference and meeting center at MCC. The Welcoming Place consists of four houses, each with 11 rooms. Hotel-style rooms include a private bath for each room and a common living area.  
The cost is $52/night and includes breakfast.

About the AITM seminar

The AITM seminar provides:

  • an overview of the stressors and trauma-producing events of migration (leaving home, the journey, resettlement and integration into a new community)
  • an integrated framework for understanding the impact of trauma on the body, brain, beliefs and behavior of individuals and communities
  • an understanding of the on-going harm that results from unhealed wounds created during the migration process
  • practical tools for addressing trauma and building resilience which can be used personally and professionally

Facilitators for this seminar will be Elaine Zook Barge and Saulo Padilla.

Elaine (Elena) Zook Barge is a trauma and resilience educator and consultant for individuals and organizations dealing with stress and adversity.  She has facilitated many Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience seminars (STAR)  for professionals, organizational leaders and students, in the US and in countries around the world, working with the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University and now with Humanitarian Development Partnerships (HDPI). She previously worked in community development and peacebuilding in Central America in the 1980's and 1990's.

Saulo Padilla is Coordinator of Mennonite Central Committee’s (MCC) U.S. Immigration Education National Program since 2008. He develops and provides learning opportunities about the need for better and safer mechanisms for people facing migration, and advocating to reform the immigration system. For MCC he coordinates immigration law trainings for non-profits offering immigration legal services to immigrant communities and leads learning tours to the U.S./Mexico and Guatemala/Mexico borders.  Saulo has completed STAR I and II trainings on trauma and resilience. His passion to work with immigrants comes from his own experience as the son of a refugee and an immigrant himself, and the biblical commandment to love and embrace the stranger. He is a Canadian citizen, born in Guatemala from where he migrated to Canada, then to the US.